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SACOSAN VI: An opportunity for South Asian leaders to focus on sanitation and the Sustainable Development Goals

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The text below originally appeared in The Daily Star as part of the SACOSAN VI Supplement. The Daily Star is an English newspaper of Bangladesh.

SACOSAN VIThe 6th South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN VI) is a historic milestone for South Asian governments. The conference reflects the efforts South Asia has made towards safe sanitation for all, but importantly, it signals the Region’s commitment to shift from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to the more challenging platform of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This shift will require even greater leadership from the governments, more sustained partnership from the development community, and greater grass-root innovation. SACOSAN VI is the right moment for South Asia to concretely signal its commitment towards achieving SDG 6 – the Water and Sanitation Goals.

For Bangladesh, as host, SACOSAN VI is an equally important milestone. The first sponsor of the SACOSAN gathering, Bangladesh has made great strides towards eliminating open defecation. But, as the country prepares for middle income status, the “sanitation solution” will require greater urban focus, stronger institutions of local governments and utilities, and deeper state accountability to citizens.   
Much is expected from the leadership of South Asia as the stage is set for a historic SACOSAN VI Dhaka Declaration. It will be the privilege of the international development community to support South Asian governments to implement such a program.

For more information on SACOSAN VI, please visit:


Junaid Kamal Ahmad

Vice President, Operations, MIGA

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